by Alan Simpson
Europe, Can You Trust US Owned ISP's?
The Indymedia Affair brings into question if companies can trust US owned companies with their data, even within their own borders.
The seizure of all Indymedia's data and files, based on the computers eventually owned by Rackspace in the US raises many questions about where the loyalty lies with US owned telecommunications and computer companies operating in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The action appears to have been initiated by the Italian government, hardly a sterling example of judicial excellence itself. The question then is why did not Italy speak directly to the UK company, operating the servers on behalf of Indymedia. Aren't Britain and Italy still in the EU?
The best conspiracy scenario seems to be that the Italians got the British to hand over all the files to the Americans so John Ashcroft can see what's in them?
But is Indymedia a wing of Al Qaeda?
No they are an international network of journalists and writers often critical of illegal activities slipped under the media radar, often disguised as operations against phantom terrorists. Indymedia are very hostile towards John Ashcroft, and believe Tony Blair and George Bush lied to start a war in Iraq.
But surely they must be Islamic militants planning to blow up Parliament on November 5th, disguised as Guy Fawkes, or Mount St. Helens?
No they criticized the Italians, who Lord knows have a wealth of material for criticizing. Guessing, for everything is secret, they published photos of undercover spooks doing no good. Having seen the photos these spooks are posing for the camera. They also seem to be in uniform.
So we have material hardly of the International Most Wanted, just politically irritating.
Now this opens a whole new can of worms, for the subpoena, if it exists, was between two EU nations, and was served by a foreign government, which appears to have collected the data for its own perusal. Names, files and email.
The Rackspace executives stated Oct. 8th that they were "...acting as a good corporate citizen and cooperating with international law enforcement authorities.."
Now the question is "of which country were they acting as good corporate citizens" certainly not of the one they were entrusted with hosting and managing the data for Indymedia.
If the FBI or CIA had asked them to hand over the files, email, logs and data from Airbus Industries for they are being unpatriotic and challenging Boeing for contracts around the world, would they?
Would they demand a British Judge to give authority through British Courts, or would they accept a nod and wink, as most US ISP's do before handing over the goods.
Would they just accept someone from the US Government, say a purchasing agent from the Pentagon to go through the files of competing companies to look good for a future employer. It would be a logical request from an US government agency fighting terrorism.
The reason for sifting through Airbus Industries would be that they met with aviation representatives from Iran, Iraq and other supporters of terrorism at the Paris Airshow.
Of course there would be no paperwork as this was a matter of National Security and highly secret. The charge is secret, as is the person who made the charge, and the whole issue is outlined in a secret document created by an unnamed agency and given to Haliburton.
Had this been a drug deal or a bombing that was directly attributable to using the server for planning and communicating, then the full forces of legitimate law enforcement should be used, and the Metropolitan Police should have gone in with all their fine fellows and grabbed the villains.A Fair Cop Gov!
But no, we see critical authors of websites being harassed all over the world, and editors of newspapers, magazines and electronic media being strong armed to stop reporting anything negative to the Bush Junta, or their allies in crime.
In the past when we criticized Israel over Jennin we experienced days of DOS attacks, viruses and other attacks which could only have come from government, or quasi government computer networks. When Wayne Madsen questioned the sources of terrorist money and tracked them back to Saudi Arabia, the Saudis tried to blackmail him through London Solicitors, threatening a US journalist on fake charges in British Courts. They failed!
This is a whole new dimension, where someone somewhere can seize files on secret suspicions, without giving reasons to the owner of those files, or allowing the required due process.
So if a Saudi businessmen, living in a cave in Pakistan appeals to the Mongolians, can they issue a secret subpoena and seize the files of Microsoft? Sounds ridiculous.
Or better still I would like the files of Motorola, AT&T, Verizon, BT, Bundespost and lots of other telecommunications companies in Europe, to see what they have in the pipeline for our intelligence analysis. Should I get a contact at DoJ to seize them for me, as all the above have allowed terrorists to use their networks for making calls.
If I were a major company relying on US corporations for managing, hosting, or securing my data, files and email I would be having serious discussions with them on their own policy of handing my data over to the FBI, or anyone else in foreign countries.